I was talking to Ramon and he told me that it might be helpful to try doing a tonal underpainting in umber before launching into color--that's the way a lot of the old masters painted. It sounded like a great idea, since it would allow me to separate the value stage from the color stage (Will-style??). My paintings have been failing lately, and I suspect it might be because I spend so much time thinking about color that I neglect the anatomy, likeness, and correct value relationships. It's going to be a matter of getting faster and better, but for now I think this might be helpful.
In Karl's class I started out with a light underpainting, which I was hoping to have dry and then paint right over it, but he suggested i make a full underpainting then we try something he calls "glazing" next week--where we put the color on like a completely separate painting over a dry underpainting. Sounds good. Here's stage 1: